Laboratory List

Argon Geochronology Laboratory

Utilizes a dedicated, high sensitivity, noble gas mass spectrometer (VG1200S) which is connected to both resistance heater and continuous laser fusion systems.
Dr. Chris Hall, Lab Manager Marcus Johnson

Biogeochemistry & Environmental Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory

This facility is dedicated to the application of isotopic and trace element analysis to environmental and paleo-environmental research problems. Metal-free, positive pressured, HEPA-filtered clean rooms are available for sample preparation and chemical separation. Sample digestion is completed by high-pressure microwave, automated flux digestion, and custom-designed thermal decomposition. Analytical equipment includes a Perkin-Elmer ICP-OES, a Dionex IC, a Nippon-Instruments furnace and liquid AA Hg analyzer, a recently upgraded Finnigan MAT 262 TIMS, and a Nu-Instruments multi-collector ICP-MS with Apex and Aridus desolvation systems as well as custom-designed cold-vapor generation system.Prof. Joel Blum, Lab Manager Marcus Johnson.

Climate Change Research Laboratory

Climate Change Research Laboratory

This experimental facility is dedicated to modeling global and regional climate changes. Experimental facilities include a high-performance Linux cluster with 170 intel (nehalem and core 2 duo) cpus and multi-terabyte mass storage. The Linux cluster is housed in a dedicated server room. The laboratory also includes workstations and peripheral devices for model analysis and post production.
Prof. Chris Poulsen  Paleoclimate Modeling Group

Computational Facility for Geodynamic Research

This facility provides for the computational needs of a model intensive research group focused on dynamics of mantle and crustal phenomena. Computational needs are met with a Silicon Graphics Origin 2000 computer, six Sun Microsystems workstations, and two Silicon Graphics visualization workstations.
Prof. Peter van Keken

Continental Environments Lab

This facility is dedicated to the analysis of soil, plant, and animal samples to solveboth environmental and paleoenvironmental problems. Facilities include a Delta V+ EA-IRMS for organic oxygen, deuterium, carbon, and nitrogen isotopic analyses housed in the Stable Isotope Lab for looking at biogeochemical interactions, a GasBenchII for water analyses, a TC/EA for oxygen and deuterium analyses of organic matter, a sample preparation lab with analytical and microbalances and multiple fume hoods, and a Genlab 125L drying oven. Future additions will include a glove box for controlled atmosphere weathering experiments and incubators for plant growth experiments. The lab is the primary home of the Continental Environments Research Group
Prof. Nathan Sheldon

Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory

Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory

The R.B. Mitchell Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory (EMAL) is one of two EMAL labs at the University. It contains a Philips CM12 transmission electron microscope, Hitachi scanning electron microscope fitted with an energy-dispersive analysis system, two Cameca electron microprobes (SX-100, MBX), Scintag X-ray powder diffractometer, Enraf-Nonius single-crystal X-ray diffractometer, Debye-Scherrer, Gandolfi, Laue and other X-ray cameras.
Prof. Youxue Zhang, Interim Lab Manager Leslie Hayden

Experimental Petrology Laboratory

The experimental facilities in the experimental petrology lab cover low, intermediate and high pressure conditions, from the Earth's surface to about 600 km deep, including hydrothermal conditions. The facilities include: some one-atmosphere tube furnaces and box furnaces (one to 1600°C), four Deltech furnaces (one used for density and sound speed measurements, and one with ultra-high temperature (2200°C) capability), one rapid-quench internally-heated pressure vessel, two rapid-quench cold-seal TZM pressure vessels, three piston cylinder apparatus, a multi-anvil apparatus, a Perkin-Elmer DSC-7 (scanning calorimeter) and TMA-7 (dilatometer and viscometer), a Perkin-Elmer spectrophotometer (for colorimetric analyses of FeO), one microbalance, and a sample preparation lab.
Profs. Rebecca Lange and Youxue Zhang

Geomicrobiology Laboratory

This lab supports microbiological, molecular, and biochemical approaches directed towards research in geomicrobiology and microbial biogeochemistry. The lab is fully equipped for characterization of microbial community structure and function by extraction, amplification, and analysis of DNA from environmental samples, including computational capabilities for genomic analysis. Instrumentation for sterile technique and cultivation allows for the isolation and growth of microorganisms and for the production of biogenic minerals. An epifluorescence microscope is available for analysis and enumeration of microbes in natural samples, including imaging of microbe-mineral assemblages.
Prof. Gregory Dick

Geowall Project

Geowall Project

A combination of new projection technology, fast graphics cards and linux PCs have made it possible to provide a stereo projection system that is much more affordable than previous commercial solutions. The GEOWALL project makes use of these projection systems to visualize structure and dynamics of the Earth in stereo to aid the understanding of spatial relationships.
Prof. Peter van Keken

Glaciochemistry and Isotope Geochemistry (GIGL)

A facility for the study of radiogenic, radioactive and stable isotopes in the earth sciences. Our facilities are geared toward high-precision, high-accuracy measurements of a variety of isotopic systems including U-series, Sr, Nd, Hf, and B. Lab Manager: Bryan Sell

Keck Elemental Geochemistry Laboratory

The capabilities of this facility are centered around two Finnigan Element high resolution ICP-mass spectrometers that provide for the quantitative analysis of most elements, at exceedingly low concentrations (parts per trillion to parts per billion), in both natural and synthetic materials. Associated facilities include a UV laser ablation microsampler, an ultra-clean laboratory for sample preparation, and a variety of sample introduction systems that allow determination of elemental chemistries from both solid and liquid materials in complex matrices. Prof. Ingrid Hendy, Lab Manager Dr. Ted Huston

Mineral Chemistry & Computational Mineralogy

Mineral Chemistry & Computational Mineralogy

The mineral surface and computational mineralogy lab is equipped with an atomic-force microscope that allows observation of crystal growth, dissolution, and adsorption phenomena at close-to atomic resolution as a function of different environmental parameters. It includes an electrochemical cell that allows study of redox, adsorption, and precipitation processes as a function of the electrochemical potential and magnetic tips that image magnetic domains on surfaces. It also includes a computer cluster used to perform quantum mechanical calculations that provide information on atomic-scale processes in minerals and on their surfaces and elucidate the role of the electronic structure in redox and related processes.
Prof. Udo Becker

Mineralogical Collections

The Mineral Collection of the Department include a study collection of minerals and rocks for use by advanced undergraduate and graduate students. Some specimens and suites of minerals, crystals, rocks, and ores are on exhibit in hall cases in the C.C. Little Building.

The collection consists of ~15,000 mineral specimens including a superb suite of specimens from Michigan's copper mines, thousands of gemstones, several hundred meteorite specimens and a suite of rock samples from early expeditions to Antarctica.

Departmental Teaching Collections  Many courses in Earth and Environmental Sciences involve "hands-on" science. The Department oversees a large collection of minerals, rocks, and fossils used specifically for teaching. This library of specimens allows students to build familiarity with materials they might see during field courses or in their own back yard.

Morphometrics Laboratory

This teaching and research facility includes a video-based image analysis system for acquisition and analysis of 2D morphometric data (coordinate values, distances, outlines, counts, shape indices, luminance profiles, etc.) at a full range of scales, and two devices for acquisition of 3D data, a Reflex microscope for work in the sub-decimeter range, and a mechanical-arm digitizer for work on larger specimens.
Profs. Tomasz Baumiller and Daniel Fisher

Noble Gas Laboratory

The Noble Gas Laboratory (NGL) at the University of Michigan is currently dedicated to analyzing all stable noble gas (He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe) abundances and their respective isotopic ratios in a variety of fluids, including freshwater (groundwater, surface water, rainwater), ice, snow, brines, shale gas, and gas from hydrothermal systems.

The laboratory is equipped with two Thermo Scientific mass spectrometers recently acquired and funded by the National Science Foundation (EAR/IF #1049822); a Helix SFT for measurement of He and Ne isotopes, and an Argus VI for measurement of Ar, Kr and Xe. The laboratory is also equipped with a noble gas extraction and purification line. The latter includes a double-head cryotrap which allows for simultaneous separation of He and Ne in a “low-temperature” chamber while Ar, Kr and Xe are separated in the “high-temperature” chamber. Measurements of a fluid sample are carried out simultaneously on the Helix SFT and the Argus VI. The Helix SFT is specifically designed to analyze 3He and 4He in multi-collection mode. Multi-collection in the Argus VI is also used for measurement of Ar, Kr and Xe isotopes.

Once the gases have been extracted from a sample, all clean up and cryogenic separation procedures are handled by a fully automatic computer controlled system. The computer that controls the gas extraction bench acts as a master computer, as it not only controls the extraction bench but it also commands the two mass spectrometers via an internal ethernet network. The entire system is coordinated by multi-threaded control software that allows for gas processing and data collection on two separate mass spectrometers simultaneously.

In the near future, the NGL will be also equipped with extraction and purification lines for measurement of all noble gases in rocks. These are currently under construction.


Prof. Clara Castro. Lab Manager: Chris Hall

Oceanography and Marine Geology Laboratory

This laboratory complex includes a multi-use sample preparation and analysis facility. Instrumentation includes: GS/MS systems for analysis of the organic fraction of sediments and rocks, a Carlo-Erba CHNS-O analyzer and a Coulter Multisizer for precise grain size analysis.
Prof. Ingrid Hendy

Ore Deposits Laboratory

This teaching and research laboratory is dedicated to the identification and geochemical characterization of ore materials. It includes reflected, transmitted and UV optical microscopes, heating and freezing stages for fluid inclusion study, and a quadrupole mass spectrometer for analysis of fluid inclusion gases.
Prof. Steve Kesler

Paleobiomechanics Lab

This facility houses experimental equipment for fluid (1) and solid (2) biomechanics. It includes 1a) a re-circulating plexiglass flow tank (2 x 0.15 x 0.15 m cross-section) capable of generating currents of up to 1 m/s, 1b) a high viscosity recirculating “glop-tank” (low-Re), 1c) dye-injectors and micromanipulators for flow visualization, and 1d) computerized strain-gages for measuring forces in flow (drag and lift), 2a) a computerized Instron tensometer (10N and 100N load cells) for tensional and compressional tests, and 2b) strain gages for point- and three-point bending.
Prof. Tomaz Baumiller

Paleomagnetics Laboratory

Paleomagnetics Laboratory

This facility is fully equipped for measurement and demagnetization of natural remanent magnetizations with a three-axis 2G cryogenic magnetometer, Schonstedt spinner, ASC model TD-48 thermal demagnetizer and a Sapphire (SI-4) alternating field demagnetizer, with anhysteretic remanence imparting capabilities. These instruments are housed in a shielded room with a residual-field no greater than 200 nT. A KLY-2 Kappabridge, and an electromagnet capable of reaching 1.3 T are also available.
Prof. Rob Van der Voo

Paleontology Museum Collection

The Museum of Paleontology provides the facilities enabling direct hands-on study of plants and animals preserved as fossils, and study of the environmental, ecological, and paleogeographical conditions in which they lived. These can be studied statically at fixed times in the past or present, and dynamically as they are seen to change through evolutionary and geological time. Because of the Museum and what it facilitates in terms of hands-on experience, our teaching and research programs have long been known for their empirical focus, with an emphasis on testing new ideas as well as generating them.

The Museum is located in the Ruthven Natural History Museum building at 1109 Geddes Avenue, across the street from the C.C. Little Building where the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is located.

Physical Oceanography and Ocean Modeling Laboratory

In this laboratory we use realistic numerical models, idealized numerical models, analysis of in-situ and remotely sensed observations, and model/data comparison to better understand the dynamics and energy budgets of wind-driven and tidal motions in the ocean. Our research is interdisciplinary, often involving collaborations with marine geophysicists, geodynamicists, and glaciologists, as well as with other physical oceanographers.
Prof. Brian Arbic

Raman Spectroscopy and Diamond Cell Laboratory

In addition to a Raman spectroscopy system for the analysis of the structure and bonding of minerals, fluids and inclusions, this laboratory also provides for in situ observation at high pressures and temperatures in the diamond cell.

Surface, Crust & Lithosphere Explorations Laboratory

Surface, Crust & Lithosphere Explorations Laboratory

The Surface, Crust & Lithosphere Explorations Laboratory (SCALE Lab) is a facility designed for research in the fields of tectonics, neotectonics, geomorphology, and geodynamics. Linux, PC and Mac workstations with GIS, remote sensing, and visualization software are connected to a data server with 7 TB of storage for manipulating and analyzing large spatial data sets. A large format scanner and plotter are available for digitization, printing, and reproduction of oversized maps and plates. A sample preparation room contains a Leica MZ16 stereomicroscope with digital camera and microscopy software for the preparation of mineral separates for thermochronology. Wet lab space and fume boxes are also available in this space. A separate equipment room provides a place for the storage of field equipment (rugged tablet PCs, laser rangefinder and electronic compass, GPS, hand tools), and a staging area for domestic and international field work.
Profs. Marin Clark and Nathan Niemi

Seismological Laboratory

In addition to state of the art computational facilities for interpretation of fault rupture dynamics, this facility supports a globally networked seismological station in addition to a network of portable seismographs that are deployed throughout the K-12 educational system.
Prof. Larry Ruff

Stable Isotope Laboratory

Stable Isotope Laboratory

This teaching and research facility comprises three gas source, ratio mass spectrometers and complete systems for the preparation and analysis of d18O, d13 C and dD of all mineral, fluid and gas phases. A unique aspect of the laboratory is the ability to sample materials on a scale of 10-20 micron increments in single crystals and accretionary structures utilizing a computerized XYZ microsampling system and to analyze samples as small as 10 micrograms. In addition, the facility has supporting instrumentation for petrographic analysis, cathodoluminescence, data analysis, and computer visualization.
Prof. Kyger C. Lohmann, Lab Manager Lora Wingate

Structure Laboratories

Structure Laboratories

This unit houses several research optical microscopes, including a Leitz Ortholux with photographic attachment, a dedicated Zeiss U-stage microscope with computer, and facilities for real-time, microscope-based deformation experiments of analogs.  In addition to a group of networked computers with peripherals, the laboratory houses a TabletPC-based field computing facility (GeoPad).  A modern sample preparation laboratory is located nearby.  A texture goniometer, using an Enraf-Nonius single-crystal device, is located in the X-ray Lab, while magnetic fabric equipment is housed in the neighboring Paleomagnetics laboratory.
Prof. Ben van der Pluijm

X-Ray Diffraction and Crystallography Laboratory

Now a part of the EMAL Lab, this departmental facility consists of: two automated powder diffractometers (a Scintag theta-theta and a Philips theta-2theta device), Debye-Scherrer and Gandolfi cameras, single-crystal diffraction Weissenberg, precession and Laue cameras; and an automated four-circle CAD4 single-crystal diffractometer.